Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween from Dad

Hey Dad,
Thanks for all the pictures. Its good to see that you all are having fun still. I think you and mums costume was crazy. I love that David Alder was David. Hahaha! Glad your calf is getting better. Have you gone to the doctors about it? Have fun in San Fransisco representing the CDC!

Well this week Sister Dean and I saw a lot of success. It was a very busy week filled with lots of talking to people and teaching. Wednesday night our district leader texted our district to say we had one hour to complete the amazing race. We had to talk to 5 people on a bike, a person by a grocery store, döner laden, bustop, and bahnhof, 20 people door to door and four people on the phone and there was a point system for how far we got in the conversations with everyone and if we got appointments out of it. Well when Sister Dean and I got the text we had exactly one hour before we needed to be home and it was raining so it didn't seem like we would do too well but we did our best. When our district leader called in he tallied up all the work Sister Dean and I did and we actually managed to win the race. We gave out three Book of Mormons and got to talk to a lot of people about the church and share our testimonies. Our district leader was amazed and said the Elders in another city were arguing with the other elders in their apartment about who won and said they'd all be upset to know that we did. Sister Dean says the Elders have an inferiority complex about the Sisters.

Another night this week we had about an hour and a half left in the day. It was cold and rainy outside and we didn't want to go but we saw a bus was coming in 5 minutes so we threw on our coats and out the door we went. When we got to Hafen straße we contacted the first man we saw on the street. He told us all about his family history and how some of his relatives lived or died in concentration camps. He told us his belief in Christ and we shared with him about the Book of Mormon. Then his bus came and he had to go. The next day we were getting on the bus in a different location and the man we saw the night before was getting off. He recognized us and told us that he read in the Book of Mormon and LOVED it and would call us because he wanted to talk more about it. It just really showed Sister Dean and I how important it is to be where we're supposed to be. Had we not contacted that man he would have just been another person we saw getting off the bus the next day.

I don't need money any time soon. It just makes it difficult to visit museums or buy Christmas gifts for everyone. Hopefully my card will come soon. Thanks for all the love and support you send dad! I hope you have a great week! Love you!
-Ariel Nell

All your birthday wishes


Haha, That's funny to see what all the people who wrote on my facebook wall. Thanks for sending that to me. Mostly my work friends from LSU and then people I've known forever. That's really nice to see how much love there is out there. How are you doing this week? I love that Eli jumped into your photo. You and Michael are some pretty cute boy scouts if you ask me! Do you have anything fun planned for Michael's birthday next week? I hope so! I wrote him a birthday card and will put it in the mail today so I hope he enjoys all the crazy mission stories. They're all the ones that probably aren't appropriate to put on the blog but things he would enjoy reading about. Some things that happen on the mission just stay on the mission...or they just get written in the journals so you can talk about it when you get home. Haha! Well, this week was way crazy and fun. Sister Dean and I have been having a lot of opportunities of talking to people about the gospel and giving people the Book of Mormon. There is so much power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon.

   What are the thanksgiving plans this year? Our district is thinking of doing a district thanksgiving feast on the last p-day of the transfer. Do you think you could send me mums squash casserole recipe? I found a store that sells Ritz crackers! So it's totally possible to do! An older member, 92 year old lady, made Sister Dean and I steak, brussel sprouts, and klöse for dinner on Friday. It's like the closest thing to steak, green beans, and mashed potatoes you can ever get in Germany. It was so delicious! Mmm....And she cooked it all herself. She is pretty fabulous. This week we are tausching and I will be headed to Langenhorn. I'm not exactly sure where that is. Near Hamburg I think? Anyways, it should be a good learning experience.

   I love you Lyndel, Have a great week and remember to take some time to have fun!
-Ariel Nell  

So tired

Hey Mumma,

 I hope Frankenstorm doesn't hit too bad. But hey a week with no school could be nice too right? I had a dream last week that I was talking to you about my concerns for voting and not knowing what to do. And before you could give me your ideas I woke up for the day. Its funny how I seem to tell you my concerns in my head even though you're so far away. I have read the talk that you taught about by Elder Scott. I really enjoyed it. I think writing down our spiritual inspiration is another reason why we are asked to keep journals. As I have had ah ha moments in my study I have tried to record them in my journal so when I go back and read it I can know of whatever piece of truth I learned and the testimony it gave me. I have also found that writing it out for me helps me organize my thoughts and allows for more spiritual guidance. I like that Elder Scott also talks about dreams being a form of revelation. If we really prepare ourselves it most certainly is a way that we can be guided by heavenly father. I dreamt about buying good tampons last night so I don't think that was guided but it was funny.

   Our weather has turned to winter too. Its very cold and rainy outside now. Earmuffs, gloves, hats scarves, coats, basically anything that'll keep the heat in is being worn. This past week we really had an adventure. Sister Dean and I parked our bikes, locked them up, and went into a lesson and had a fabulous lesson and then came out 40 minutes later to find that her bike was stolen with the lock. My bike and our helmets were left there. So then we had to call the mission office and then the police and the police said that we had to come in to their office so we found their office and guess what? There's no place to lock bikes up outside. That was dumb. So I figured I'd just bring my bike in with me so I did. I carried it up the stairs to the office we needed to go to and when Sister Dean talked to the police they told her she could tell her friend that she could leave her bike in the hall that no one would steal it. Ha! So then I went with Sister Dean to be questioned and file a report. No news of her bike yet but hopefully we will be getting a new one for her this week. Till then we will be on buses.

   So one investigator that we are teaching is Bruder XXXX. Sister Dean said they were doing emails in the church one P-day and they heard someone ring the door bell so they went to see who it was and it was Bruder XXXX. He said he had always seen the church and wondered what they believed. He literally came to them. Well this last week we had an AMAZING lesson with him. We planned on teaching about the restoration but he asked us why did God sacrifice Jesus, why did he have to do that. So then Sister Dean and I taught about the why of the atonement and how it works. It was a very spirit filled lesson and was really neat to see Bruder XXXX's understanding and appreciation for Christ grow throughout the lesson. At the end we asked if we answered his question and he said we did and that he really likes it in the church. He comes almost every week to church already! Sister Dean and I are hoping to invite him to be baptized this next week. We committed another investigator last night to baptism, Bruder XXXXXX. It's really amazing to see how the Lord prepares people and when they're ready they will take the steps they need to to be baptized and begin their journey home.

     They do celebrate Halloween here in Germany but more of the younger generation. Halloween is where they tend to dress up as scary things and then in February they have a holiday called Fasching where they dress up as happy/fun things. We explained to members that we would dress up as angels or boy scouts and things for Halloween. They thought it was funny because they only do scary things. When the kids go door to door they say Suß und Sauer, literally meaning sweet and sour. It's a pretty good translation to trick or treat. We have one investigator with three little boys who didn't want to meet with us Wednesday evening because it will be Halloween so her family definitely celebrates it.

   Well I hope this week is a better one and that your parents calm down a little bit more. I love you Mumma and am so very grateful for you! I'm glad the Halloween party went so well. can't wait to be there for the next one!

-Ariel Nell

Happy Halloween!

Hey Andre,

  Glad you had a busy and good week. Ours was good too. We actually have two baptismal dates. We made one last week and then one out again last night. Schwester XXXXXXX will be baptised in March and Bruder XXXXXX in December. I met Bruder XXXXX for the first time last night. It seemed that we wasn't able to meet with the missionaries for a long time due to some health reasons and then yesterday he came to church. At church Sister Dean and I were able to sit down and talk to him and get to know him. He told us the saddest life story I've ever heard that I ended up crying with him. In the evening we were able to meet with him and as soon as we sat down he explained that he knows he needs to be baptized and that this is the right way to go. He asked us if we could teach about the third pamphlet again, so the gospel of Jesus Christ. So Sister Dean and I taught about the gospel and how there are certain steps that we take before we get back to our father in Heaven. At the end we invited him to baptism and he said yes! And then picked December 2nd. Sister Dean and I are really excited to work with him and help him start changing his life so he can be most happy. It was a really neat experience.

   Things in Bremerhaven are going great. I really love the ward and the members here. It has begun to be very cold. Like things are icing over now. So earmuffs, gloves, scarves, coats, boots, and anything else warm is all fair game. It hasn't snowed yet but we heard that it did snow in Frankfurt and in Türingen.

My German is coming along. It could always be better but I'm working on it.  No, I don't feel at the top of my game. There is always something to improve on but I do feel good with where Sister Dean and I are and where we are trying to take Bremerhaven. We work really well together and she is a great teacher. She knows how to say things so that they are very clear and to the point. Sometimes when I'm talking to someone I mentally take a step back and realize that I've been holding a conversation in German for the past hour and we've understood each other and even laughed. That just seems crazy to me every day. Did you ever think that was strange when you could speak Portuguese with everyone? People ask us sometimes how is our German so good and we explain because of the Holy Ghost and it is so true. I'm not sure if they believe us but I know for sure that I wouldn't have been able to do this without the holy ghost. No way Jose.

 Have a great week Andre! Try and get some rest. I love you bunches! Be good.
-Ariel Nell

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ouch plenty of boo boos

HAHAHAHA!!! Let me just say you had Sister Dean and I cracking up with the worms in the Famous Amos cookies. Oh heavens, that was funny. Dad I'm so sorry you have just had a hard week with health. How are you driving the car if you hurt your right leg. Have you gone to a Kaiser doctor to see what you can do in the mean time while your leg heals? How did you get a blocked eye duct? Does your eye hurt? Did the dentist end up doing a root canal or are you just taking ibuprofen until you have to go back? Man, That must have really not been a fun week for you.

That's funny that so many people came to the ward program for the primary. I'm glad it went so well. I'm not sure if they do ward programs here but we do have a primary! It's fun to see all the kids running around and making noise in sacrament meeting again.

For Mum's Halloween party does everyone have to come in pairs? Are you guys still doing it on the 26th? That's my year mark. It's crazy how fast time has flown.

I did get my package on Wednesday!! So it was a miracle. We had had lessons and ran errands all morning and then came home for lunch and our language study and was just about to go out again when Schwester XXXX, a member called to see if we were home and said she was coming over with some food. So we decided to wait around until she came and then a few seconds later the door bell goes off. Sister Dean and I both thought it was Schwester XXXX and that she had called us from outside but as Schwester XXXX came up the stairs to our apartment it was the DHL man. I was so shocked especially to see how much you spent and that it got to me in two days. That's unheard of. And we would have normally not been home. It was just too perfect how it all got together. I was able to open it and quickly look inside. Saw my hat, put it on, and went out again to do some finding in it :) Thank you so much for my birthday package and sacrificing so much to get it here on time! I attached a picture of me in my new hat..

I wouldn't suggest sending a package to me directly just in case it gets stuck in customs again. Sending it to the office is always safer. I'm sure that I could ask the office to forward the package to me if it is small. For Christmas President said that all our packages need to be sent to the office otherwise it'll just be too crazy and won't get to us in the Christmas season.

Yes, I did hate that book the ear the eye and the arm. It was too sci-fi and no fun. Buh, I just remember sitting at the Kingsley pool over the summer reading it and not understanding anything. It just went all over my head.

Sister Dean and I plan on going to the museum about immigration and the Klima house museum but we're waiting for my card to arrive because you are only allowed to pay with personal money to visit museums and things like that. We have a u-boat sitting in the harbor here and plan on walking past it today and along the harbor to look out to the sea.

We had an Erntedankfest activity on Saturday and it was so much fun! The holiday is to celebrate the things of the harvest and so everyone made home made things like bread or cheese and leek soup and one family, who lived in America for a while, made carrot cake! It was so yummy. A nice little taste of home.

Well I hope you have a better week Dad and don't hurt yourself anymore than what is already happened. I love you and miss you! Thanks for my gifts!
-Ariel Nell

Zone Training Meetings October 2012

District Leer

Zone Training Meeting Oldenburg

Almost Halloween!


   I'm glad that your week went well and that the primary program at church was so inspiring. I like thinking of that scripture in the Book of Mormon that says that from the mouth of babes we will be confounded and it's true. There are so many times that a child can teach us something so profound without realizing it. We have an investigator who has three little boys all under the age of 4 so it's really crazy when we try to teach her. Sister Dean and I have figured out that one of us can teach if the other distracts :) Yesterday was my turn to distract and all I did was sit with the kids on the floor and talk about fish with them while looking at a fish card game and make fishy faces but it was so much fun. I really love little people and love being able to interact with them. I'm excited to go home and get to hold peoples babies again. I miss that. In Halberstadt we would run around with the kids and play soccer. I like kids.

   It doesn't feel any different being older. To celebrate my birthday Sister Dean made me key lime pie and we went out and taught people and did missionary work :) One appointment we had that morning was with a really old man who used to work as a helicopter saving man....oh! In English a life flight paramedic. Yeah, wouldn't have ever remembered that.  Anyways....he kept showing us pictures of dead people at random accidents that he had to respond to. Only on a mission does that ever happen. Sister Dean told him it was my birthday and he gave me a chocolate bar.

   So there is a man here named Willi who owns a shop called Chili Willi's he is from Columbus,Georgia! When I met him this week I told him I was from Atlanta and then he called me his home girl and gave me a pack of kool-aid because he said he knew I would know what that was. Haha! He is such a fun and friendly guy. He knows pretty much every American in Bremerhaven and his little shop sells A&W and Barqs root bear and cream soda and pop tarts and all sort of magical American food that he makes. I ordered some chili with jalapenos and it was delicious! It was like eating a little taste of home. He is a fun guy. He has a stack of cards in his store and tells everyone who comes in that they need to talk to us. Actually a lot of our contacts come from him. He are working on teaching him too. It'll be a fun little project.

    I can't wait to talk to you soon either! I love you! Have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

"Snap - the sound of a tendon tearing away from the muscle"

Hey Mumma!

 That is so stinking COOL at how many applicants for missionaries there were last week. 10 times the normal amount! Missionary work is amazing and I'm so proud of all the people who have changed their lives to answer the call to serve. Especially the girls. What an amazing experience and the best decision they could have ever made. I did get my package! Thanks so much for the gloves and the tights and the leggings and the thermals and the hat and the cards and the little snow globe thing. I loved receiving it and as I told Dad it was a miracle that it got to me. It only took two days!

   Dad said he was supposed to get a root canal so no worries, the threes have already passed. I hope that Dad is able to get the help he needs from the doctors. Make sure that he doesn't use his leg when he isn't supposed to. As I remember I ALWAYS had a B in German. It's just hard. They think it's easy or something. I think the only reason why I am able to communicate with people is because the Spirit is with us. Heavens. Dad sent a picture of the doll Eli made. It's a neat idea he came up with. I'm glad he is enjoying scouts still and that he is keeping busy.

    Tuesday, after 3 appointments fell out back to back, Sister Dean and I were walking home and we saw this giant man on the side of the road. We approached him and talked to him and originally he was completely against everything we had to say and then we began telling him about the Book of Mormon and sharing our testimonies with him and he completely changed. At first he said he wouldn't do anything and by the time we said our goodbyes he said he would read the chapter in the Book of Mormon we left him and that he would look at the church's' internet site. It was just a great example for Sister Dean and I about never giving up even when people are giant and say they have no interest.

    Sister Dean had a package in customs this week and we had to pick it up. When we got there the man asked her who sent her the package and she said her mom and then he gave her the package. It had beef jerky, some candy, and a foam football. It was just sooo silly to us that we had to go there to tell the man that the package came from her mom.

    We taught a 20 min thema at zone training meeting this past week. We taught about extending commitments and how we discovered there are three parts to it: giving a reason, love, and being an example. For the last point, I shared the story of how Lyndel could always tie her shoes perfectly and super tight and I wanted to be like her but for some reason had a hard time doing it. Well then in kindergarten I noticed my shoe was untied so I tried to tie it like Lyndel and I did it. I explained to all the Elders that without the Example of my sister I wouldn't have tried. It was a silly example but they all enjoyed it and were able to apply it to their work in their various areas. Sister Dean and I found out the day before that we had to teach in German so we were a bit nervous but it all went well and we were really happen with it.

    Oh let Mercedes Albanes know I got her package and thank you! I'll be sending a card soon.

    Well Mumma, I hope that you have a fabulous week and know just how much I love and miss you! My one year mark is this week. Can you believe that! I'll be home before you know it!

-Ariel Nell

Hope your birthday was A-M-A-Z-I-​N-G


  I'm glad you told me about Dad making connections to star wars and the Princess Bride and the Book of Mormon. Best Bishop ever!! I doubt anyone would ever do that here. I DID get the package! thank you so much!! I've looked at the pictures so many times now I can't even tell you. I love the one of you and Eli at Lemonade days flying by on some roller coaster. You're just too funny. I love the cardigans too! I've worn the green one last week and hopefully will wear the blue one this week. That's so awesome that Aubstodd is going to Argentina!! She is going to be great there and have an amazing time. Is she super excited!?! I'm so proud of her and am so glad that she gets to go early! She turns 21 in February!

   That's cools Marina wrote Ellen. The conference with President Monson was the best thing EVER! There was such a powerful spirit before he even arrived and to see him as he walked into the room was just amazing. Sister Dean and I got to sing in the choir. To be able to look at the prophet and sing to the Lord that we thank him for his prophet was fantastic. He is such a marvelous teacher and has so much love for the saints and the people here in Germany. Right before he was going to leave and was walking down the podium a man tried to approach him and of course that didn't go down but then President Monson shook his hand and spoke to him and instead of leaving he approached the congregation and all the little children ran forward to them. He shook their hands and spoke to them.  A member in our ward said she was having a really hard time and needed a hug and asked President Monson for one and he hugged her! Watching him greet and teach the children was like taking a walk back in time to when Christ blessed and taught the children. It was very moving. This past Sunday we had the chance to watch the broadcast of his visit in Frankfurt. Something that he said was that Christs law was not written on stone but on the hearts of the people. Its so true. If we really truly are disciples of Christ we will have his gospel and law written on our hearts and his image in our countenance.

     I am looking forward to going to the Y with you when I get home! I really miss swimming! Don't even worry, You'll fo'sho be coming to a game with me when I get back. (She'll take Andre to an LSU football game). I can't believe you haven't already! And I hope Georgia kills Florida. I don't like Florida. (Ariel is talking about the University of Florida and University of Georgia football rivalry. She dislikes Florida, to say the least).
    Bremerhaven work is going great. We had a lot of success of just talking to people on the street this last week and giving out Book of Mormons. Its amazing to see this message ring as something familiar to these people. You can see it in their faces as we talk to them. One girl, after teaching her about the Book of Mormon clutched it to her chest and kept thanking us for it. She was surprised we gave her our cell phone number too. We are the only missionaries for Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven and all the dorfs in between. The closest set of missionaries is in Bremen, about an hour  to an hour and a half away.  The branch has about 30-40 people that come regularly and a lot more inactive which we are working on. I don't mind public transportation. We mainly use our bikes though. On Saturday we biked over 40 km so my legs were sore the next day. I really like biking.

     Well I love you! Have a fabulous week and thanks for all your support. Sorry you won't get your package until I get my debit card. Just know it was ready WEEKS before your birthday :)

-Ariel Nell

Monday, October 15, 2012

Boo to you and Gutten Birthday....

Hey Dad!
I would suggest not to send packages directly to me. Sister Tidwell got a letter from the german post for me right after I left that said I had a package held in customs and that I have 14 days to pick it up before it gets sent back to wherever it came from. I've been trying to call the office number that is on the letter but no one ever answers. I got a man to answer once and he said to call his college at another number. It's super frustrating and where its being held is like 5 hours from where I am so it's impossible for me to get it and I have to pay to get it and I just have no money. I have been trying to call to let them know to go ahead and just send it back but I can't get through. I think sending packages to the mission office is the best bet. I won't get them as fast but they won't be held in customs and when there is a tax on the package the church has such a good relationship with customs there that we don't have to worry about it.

The church address is Ariel Abamonte, Kirche Jesu Christi, Zerbster Straße 42, 12209 Berlin. My missionary funds covers emails so no worries I can pay for it. It just makes it hard to write a lot since its on a timer.

It was hard leaving Halberstadt and Sister Tidwell but I have enjoyed my time here in Bremerhaven so far and serving with Sister Dean. She is a boss missionary and we work a lot alike. She is funny too! We don't have a ward mission leader in our branch here in Bremerhaven but our branch president has taken it upon himself to be our ward missionary leader. We got to meet with him on Thursday and it just blew me out of the water how much counsel and wonderful advice he offered us and how he truly has an understanding of missionary work even though he never nerved a mission. The ward is amazing at wanting to be joint teaches and just being so flexible. Its almost too hard to believe for me.

Saturday I got to see Schwester Munke in Hamburg before and after hearing from President Monson. It was lovely to see her again. The poor thing was so emotional the whole time. She was crying even before our conference started. Our sacrament meeting yesterday was so full of the spirit it was incredible! It was just amazing to see how the experience of meeting with the prophet changed everyone's life forever and really strengthened their testimonies of the importance of prophets. Seeing President Monson was probably the best experience of my life. Sister Dean and I got to sing in the choir for our conference and it was AMAZING. Singing 'We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet" with the Prophet sitting right there was so cool! At the end of the meeting the choir just stood up and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again' or in German, "Aufwiedersehen" and it was so touching. That hymn is so much better in German. Basically it was awesome :)

I'm glad that the new mission president has the same ideas you do! Sister Dean and I have been asked to teach a lesson at our zone training meeting on friday about extending commitments and we both thought of the talk Elder Holland gave. I like what you said about it making you question your personal commitment to the Lord. We have to be committed first before we can help others.
Thanks for your love and support dad. I love you bunches and I'm very grateful for you! Have a great week! miss you.

-Ariel Nell

Beginning of a new week

Hey Lyndel!
Sister Openshaw and Sister Tidwell and I all have plans to get together after the mission. Sister Openshaw lives really close to the Pimentels (old mission presidents)  too so it would be nice to visit them. I still write them letters and Sister Pimentel emails me sometimes. It's nice to have contact with them.

  I'm glad you read my comments about the missionary age requirements to the girls in YW's and I hope they really take to heart the call to serve. It is such a wonderful opportunity they have. I can't wait till the first 19 year old sisters come into our mission. We're all old fogies now. I didn't get to see XXXXXX before I left but I heard from Sister Tidwell that he backed out of his baptismal date for the end of October. Halberstadt has gotten really crazy since I left and poor Sister Tidwell is dealing with a lot of stress. One day soon XXXXXX will hopefully get baptized.

   Sister Dean is my new companion and she is a boss. I love working with her and she definitely keeps me laughing. The ICE ride wasn't as fabulous as I hoped it to be but na ja  (no worries) it got me here right? I did like the alone time because I was able to write or respond to a lot of letters. The new apartment is way cool. It's about the same size as the one in Halberstadt but just different. No more bunk beds. I'm stoked about that. We have bikes in every area so we don't have to transfer with them otherwise we would all probably shoot ourselves in the face, that would NOT be fun. The week was really busy but fun and Sister Dean and I finished it off with making out a baptismal date with an investigator. Sick huh?! Bremerhaven is good. It's different but really good. I love the ward already. They are all so willing to help us in being joint teaches its almost unbelievable. Its cold here and rainy but it works.
 I hope you have a great week and that I was able to answer all your questions. I miss you bunches and love you more!

-Ariel Nell

Hello to you in Bremerhaven

Hey Mumma,

  Thanks for giving Annette my new address. She is doing a study abroad in the United Arab Emirates in a crazy fabulous architecture school. My trip here to Bremerhaven only took 4 and half hours and three trains. It was stressful because I was the only one to haul my fatty bags around. It's really not that weird to be alone as a missionary just not fun to have no one to talk to. I got a lot of bruises on my right leg from pushing my bags up into the trains. A lot of people looked at me like I was crazy but that's because the only weirdos who use trains to move are missionaries. My bags are way heavy. I've started a stack of things that I need to just slowly start sending home (mainly books that I have collected) and I definitely think I'll leave nasty clothes if I can before I come home. My bags are ridiculous. My whole upper body was super achy this past week from having to pick up the bags and pull them and everything. Luckily there was for the most part someone always there to help me along the way. Schwester Munke saw me off at the train station and she cried. It was definitely not fun saying goodbye to her. Frau Görgens was better.

   It is already cold here but nothing unbearable. I've heard from other missionaries who served in Kiel in the winter and they said that it didn't snow at all just rained a whole bunch and that's whats going on here. I've cranked out my giant black jacket and have been sporting it around town already. We can see our breath outside too. But it's good.

  Our ward, actually branch, building is in an old captains house. It's a lovely huge house that looks similar to the one I lived in in Halberstadt except that we own the whole building. It has some really neat stained glass windows and naked Grecian ladies on the outside. Our branch has a primary, young mens and young womens. It's crazy! Our branch President, President Daniel is amazing and really helpful in the missionary work. He has such a great passion for it and really trusts us in all that we do.

   I really love Sister Dean. She was in another district than me in the MTC so I never really got to know her. We are like two peas in a pod. She is a fabulous teacher and just lays the gospel out with no shame and I love it. An investigator asked us to pray for her boyfriend (who was sitting right there) so that he would read in the Book of Mormon and have a stronger desire to learn. Sister Dean said that it was no problem for us to pray for him but it won't do anything unless HE does something about it. Man I wish you could have been there. I really like working with her.

  Thanks for taking a trip up to Burt's Pumpkin Farm for me. I'd love to see a picture of your fatty pumpkin! Mum I have two hours to email. I can get an email out to everyone, I just can't write epistles to everyone. If people send me letters I usually have more time to write more when I respond.

  Halberstadt is the only Sisters city with a car so we use bikes and buses and trains here. Our bikes both broke this past week. I managed to fix mine but Sister Deans needs to go to the shop so we have been going a lot by foot and bus these past couple days. My bikes a bit big for me but it works. The language isn't too different up here. Everyone says Moin moin instead of Morgen so that's something I got to change. People correct me when I say Morgen. Oh, something interesting I learned. They have bike police here in Bremerhaven. If we don't ride on the right side of the rode we can get tickets and people honk at us. Strange. And we have an ice hockey team called the Fischtown pingiuns. I'll probably need to get some fan memorabilia. It's just too funny. Bremerhaven has about 113,000 people, so three times bigger than Halberstadt. It'll definitely be different but good.

  I love you Mumma. Thanks for all your love. Have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Ariel in Bremerhaven

Hey Andre Nicholas!

  I actually do know my companion from the MTC. Sister Dean was in another district but entered the same day I did so we're the same age on the mission. So far Bremerhaven is the bomb. com. Its super weird to not be in the ''sister district'' anymore. My whole mission the sisters have out numbered the Elders in my districts. On friday it was a nasty surprise to see 8 elders sitting there as we walked into the church building. I guess I'm finally getting a taste of real missionary life. I really love working with Sister Dean. We work very similarly and she just says the gospel how it is! I LOVE it! In a lesson this past week a man mentioned the Pope in the same context as priesthood authority and I told him that the pope has no priesthood authority and he got SUPER mad even though he used to be evangelical. He kept looking at me and saying, ''Dass ist eine Frau.'' (This is a woman)

   General conference is definitely a holiday for us. I like to think of them as spring and fall break. We are able to go to all sessions. Frau Görgens actually came to the Saturday afternoon session that we get to watch on Sunday morning and she LOVED it. We finished reading the Book of Mormon with her the day before I left so hopefully she is all set up to listen to what the sisters have to teach her.

    Oh!! Tell Ellen I met Marina, a girl from the Hamburg area who sang in the same choir we did for the conference with President Monson and she served in Temple square the same time Ellen did. She said she knew Ellen and that Ellen was an AP when she was a zone leader. Small world huh? I thought that was neat. I had a dream I called you and told you all about this the other night but It didn't really happen, sorry.

   Thanks for sending lots of photos, I'm really excited. Photos are our one mode of media and it doesn't matter whose family photos you're looking at they're all entertaining. And Sweaters are always really helpful. The michellen man coat has been pulled out. You can see your breath all day long and its nice and cold and rainy. A member said there was snow the other day too! Welcome to winter!

   I love you Andre, Thanks for all the love and support and have a great week!
-Ariel Nell

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm 26 and you're almost 22! Yikes.

 We're emailing in Hannover's church and the computer won't let me listen to your Memo. I am being transfered to Bremerhaven so I'm not sure if the memo's work there either I'll let you know. HAPPY BIRTHDAY old man :) I hope you got my letter. Sorry your package still isn't sent out but thats cause I'm still waiting for my new debit card. Did you have a fabulous birthday? How was conference? Was conference like a vacation for you on your mission? It is for us, our fall and spring break.
This week was filled with lots of finding and meeting with members. We tend to have people yell at us as we attempt to contact an entire building saying that they're not interested and neither is anyone else. Its frustrating sometimes to help them understand that they can't decide for anyone else but themselves. Did that ever happen to you?
   Its weird being transfered. I was thinking about you this morning in the shower and all the different places that you got to serve. Was it difficult for you to leave areas that you served in such a long time? I really don't want to leave sister Tidwell or the members here in Hlaberstadt but I know that the Lord needs me where he calls me. I think I'm going to try and pack Sister Tidwell in my bags and take her with me. Transfer is like the only time we ride alone as missionaries. I got a 4 and a half hour train ride to Bremerhaven. I get to ride an ICE though, the fastest train here, so I'm kind of excited about that!
  Well I love you Andre. I hope you had a great birthday and that you don't feel too old! ;) Make sure you eat some cake too! I love you big brother. Thanks for all your love and support!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, October 8, 2012

"I'm just a giggolo"

Hey Dad!

I haven't received the envelope you sent. I'm not sure why because I got Lyndel's package and she sent that on the 26th. I am being transferred to Bremerhaven, a port city on the north sea. From what I read it is the second largest port in all of Europe and that 1, 350,000 cars come through it every year or something like that. I actually got to tausch there a long time ago and got to visit for a day. It's a lovely city and because it is on the water that means this winter will be less crazy than other places. I'm looking forward to that. I am not looking forward to leaving Sister Tidwell. She has been my little angel and a gift mostly certainly sent from Heavenly Father. Don't worry about money. I only need money to send Andre and Eli's packages but they can wait, it's nothing that needs to be rushed or anything.

I'm really sorry that they took the Elders out of your ward. I can't imagine how hard it will be for the next set that comes in. Did the mission president contact you and let you know before it happened? I loved conference too. I really was impressed by all the talks from the Relief Society meeting. It was just full of the spirit. As all the speakers talked about the enabling power of the atonement and then we stand to sing ''I stand all amazed'' I couldn't help but be amazed for all that Christ has done and feel the love from our Heavenly Father. It was a really neat experience and I'm so grateful that that was the song they chose for us to stand and sing.

This week for FHE we taught about Jacob and how he blessed his twelve sons with patriarchal blessings of things that he hoped they would remember so that they could stay on the straight and narrow. We then all wrote letters to our posterity of things that we hope they would remember and learn as they go throughout this life. I was scribe for Frau XXXXXXX and it was really amazing the advice she wanted to leave her posterity. I asked her if I could make a copy for myself and keep it. She was more than happy for me to do that and wanted to make sure that I sent one to Sister Openshaw too. We will be finishing the Book of Mormon with her today. I am excited to watch her face as we read the last two chapters.

I hope you have a less stressful week Dad and enjoy being with the family today. I love you very much and I am very grateful for you!
-Ariel nell

Black Mountain Retreat

Hey Mumma!

  Y'alls weekend in the mountains sounds fun! I'm glad that you all got to spend the weekend together. Well I did get transferred. I am headed to Bremerhaven, a port city about 4 and 1/2 hours away from Halberstadt. I feel a little jipped being transferred on General Conference weekend since we don't have church in our building ( we have to go to Braunschweig) but I called everyone and got appointments with them tonight so that I could say goodbye. It's weird packing all my things. I have a lot of books. I need to start slowly sending them home. A lot are just things I've collected since I've been here. My companion will be Sister Dean. She was in the MTC at the same time I was but just in another district so we are actually the same age on the mission.

  I REALLY enjoyed conference. I didn't realize just how badly I needed to hear from all the apostles and President Monson. I'm looking forward to next Saturday when we get to hear from President Monson again. It was amazing to hear President Monson announce the change for the missionary ages. I would have LOVED to go at 19. We have a lot of Elders in my mission already that are 18 because Germany was one of those countries with the exception to let the boys start sooner. I don't think there will be huge problems of flirting. It's an amazing piece of revelation and certainly a sign of the times that Heavenly Father is kicking missionary work into high gear. I think this will allow for a lot more sisters to come on missions. I'm grateful for when I did come otherwise I wouldn't have had a spot or scholarship at LSU but it will be such a privilege for all those girls who want to go and doubt those promptings to go between 18-21. I also think it will help a lot of youth to stay strong and focused on the straight and narrow and help them solidify their testimony of the gospel. I hope Eli does go when he is 18. What a neat experience it will be.

    So our P-day last Monday was really fun. Sister Tidwell and I enjoyed our time in Braunschweig and she was able to find some really fun cute dresses and really cheap boots. We even found a German version of Hobby Lobby. We spent easily an hour in there. It was wonderful! When we came home we stopped by Schwester Munke to pick up a cake she made for Sister Tidwell. She made the same beautiful huge cake that sister Openshaw and I got to eat several months back. We took it home and weighed it. You'll never guess how heavy it was, 17.6 lbs!

   Sister Tidwell and I got to do lots of finding this week and we had lots of interesting conversations. One man came out of his home to show us a book called the False Messiah  and just told us how wrong we were. I explained that Jesus is the Christ and that we were all brothers and sisters. He kind of looked appalled at that idea. He told Sister Tidwell to say "Hi" to Jesus for him. She said she would. It's sad how confused Satan likes to make people. The old man said at the end of our conversation that he would see us in the next life and he is right, he will. But he will be surprised at what he gets to learn. I hope he can be open to the gospel.

   Well Mumma, I hope you have a great 4 -day week at school and have fun with the family on your vacation day today. I love you and I'm very grateful for you!

-Ariel Nell

It's becoming fall...

 First off, I have to say your husband is a great man and my favorite brother in law :) 
  A weekend in the mountains sounds fun. It's neat you got to be up there with all the Van Sant kids. Yes, we did hear the news at General Conference about the missionary ages dropping. That was so stinking sweet to hear! Just a sign of the times that Heavenly Father is kicking this into high gear. We got to get gathering and fast. Yes, I totally would have gone at 19 years old. I'm so proud of all the young people now who get to go at 18 and 19. Sister Tidwell and I were talking about it and she and I both noted that for many girls the years between 18-21, where many girls feel they should serve -  meet many doubts or do something that knocks them off the path or they get married and start a family. By lowering the age for girls especially, it will allow for a lot more girls to serve missions and raise a family at a time that is normal. I really hope Eli goes at 18 years old. All the Elders who I have had the chance to see come into the field change for the better by leaps and bounds in just a few months. A mission is the best thing anyone can do for their life and their future family. Basically, dropping the age = best idea EVER.
 XXXXXX is doing much better. He is out of the hospital and we were able to visit him. Some lady saw his Book of Mormon in the hospital and said it was a devilish book. He was so ticked. He said,'' Look, it even says, 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ' on the cover!'' He is so great. He is set to be baptized at the end of October. I'm praying that Satan doesn't throw him any more curve balls.
  I did get your birthday package for me! Thanks so much! My finger nails have been a lively mint green since I opened it. Thanks for the hair ties too, those are always handy and I LOVE my coca- cola glass. It sat on my desk and held my coloring pencils for when I study. But now it is sitting packed in my suitcase because I got transfered to Bremerhaven. I'm super sad to leave Sister Tidwell. She has taught me so much and has really helped me find the joy in life and has taught me to laugh. She is amazing and I can't wait to party with her and Sister Openshaw when we are all home. Sister Openshaw is finished with her mission in the end of November so I'll make sure to give her your cell number or something so she can contact you about the chandelier. 
   I'm proud of you Lyndel! Thanks for all the love and support. Keep being amazing. Love you!
-Ariel Nell

Monday, October 1, 2012

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God ....

Thanks for all the pictures of mum and the party and of Emil and Fidel and the piano, super neat! I'm so glad to hear that everything went perfectly for Mumma and that she was so happy to participate in the whole process. I most certainly made sure to pray for her this week. Thanks for sending me so many pictures. I am just shocked at how beautiful the family looks and that Eli is a giant. I miss you all but no worries I'll be home before we know it.

I wasn't able to send Eli and email in German but I wrote him a letter that I'll mail out soon. I'll be sure to email in German today. I forgot about it last week.

No, I haven't gotten my package yet. Did you guys send it to Halberstadt or the office? It'll eventually come. I have packages for Mum, Andre, and Eli all waiting to go but no debit card so I hope that no one gets upset for late gifts. Yes, we have a CD player in the car and in our house. I'm really excited to get the Nat King Cole Christmas CD. Thanks for listening to Christmas music in July. Just one of the many reasons that makes you the best dad in the world. The glass blowing date sounds fun. I hope you guys are able to go and do it soon.

Well this week we had tausch and Sister Olsen from Bielefeld came to serve with me in Halberstadt for the day. It was neat to see how someone else teaches and how the things they said are really needed for the people we visit. This week Sister Tidwell and I got a lot of referrals. In this last little while we have been getting a lot and it really is a blessing. We go out finding everyday because we only have two progressing investigators and no one is interested to talk to us so it starts that nasty cycle of no one to teach which means very few lessons which means our numbers are not so nice. But the referrals are the key to get everything up. President Kosak called us this week and gave us a referral from the Idaho Falls temple visitor center. It was an older couple who live in Wernigerode. We were able to set up an appointment with them and visit them this week. We stayed for two hours and answered a lot of their questions and seemed to hit every topic under the sun like equality between men and women, the priesthood, Joseph Smith, keys, Prophets, restoration vs. reformation, temples vs. churches, tithing, Mitt Romney, etc. It was a really neat meeting and the couple was really interested but not willing to make out a new appointment with us. At least they are more informed and know where to go and who to get in contact with when they want to know more. I'm so glad that you have been pushing referrals and member missionary work. You're doing a great job!

This week at ASB, the dementia home we serve at, we just walked around to a bunch of different rooms and talked to people we never met before. It made me think of you and how much you would have enjoyed talking to everyone and also of all the times we went to visit Dot. Bruder Lau gave me a classical CD this week that has the Chopin Waltz that you play all the time at home. I like to listen to it over and over and over again because it reminds me of being home. I hope you're finding opportunities to play the piano.

I love you dad. Thanks for all your love and support. Can't wait to talk to you soon!!!
-Ariel Nell

My lovely little sister

Hey Lyndel!

I am doing something fun for p-day! Today is Sister Tidwells birthday so we decided to take a trip to Braunschweig and go shopping in this castle that was turned into a four story mall. To have the most time here today we had to catch a train at 5:41 and then arrived here in Braunschweig and now are emailing in an internet laden. Super weird. I haven't done that my whole mission but everyone else does it. So now I feel super crunched for time! So yes, we're going to have a blast today. Plus, Bryan sent finger mustaches to me and Sister Tidwell and I put them on on the train and have been taking pictures everywhere with them. My mustache kind of looks like Hitlers' and we found a street sign called Adolf straße so naturally I had to take a picture :)

   Awww! I'm so glad that you all threw a surprise party for Mumma. That's such a cute idea. I actually haven't read anyone elses emails yet. Yours was the first.

 Satan is gonna get a punch in the face if I ever meet him. We told Frau Görgens what happened with XXXXXX and she was REALLY upset. I told her I was going to punch Satan in the face and she said she would too and asked Schwester Munke if she would join in too. Haha, it was cute. XXXXXX is doing much better. I've talked to him three times this week. We weren't able to visit him in the hospital because it was in the Frankfurt mission and that's a no go since we're not allowed to leave the mission. His legs are still numb and he said that they will be numb forever now but he is getting better at walking each day and is very positive. I asked him if he read anything good in the Book of Mormon while he was in the hospital and he said that one day he started Mormon and then a few hours later he realized he finished it. Ha! So awesome.

 I'm so glad you love the rainbow picture too!! Frau Görgens artwork is lovely.

 Oh my goodness, FHE was hilarious. So we talked about Abraham and read about the covenant the Lord makes with him and then read the story of him about to sacrifice Isaac. I drew a not so great looking ram but it worked and made tails for everyone to write a sacrifice on that they offer. It was interesting to hear what was a sacrifice for some people and what wasn't.

 I'm excited for my birthday too!!! I'm gonna be an old lady. Speaking of which I found the longest grey hair in my life this past week. I pulled it out and taped it to a black piece of paper. I'll probably send it to Mum. Sick joke.

Aww, I'm sorry Mumma is upset I'm not there for  another Christmas. Yeah, it's not fun to not be with you all. The good news is that I get to call home on Christmas and then I'll be home 4 months later!! I like the My Favorite Place presents idea. It would make for some seriously fun presents.

   Well I love you Lyndel! I hope you have a fabulous week and that you all have fun celebrating Andre's birthday. I miss you bunches!

-Ariel Nell

New American

Hey Mumma!

I was just going to sign off when I saw that you wrote me! I'm so proud of you and for all that you accomplished. I made sure to pray for you this week and am so proud that you accomplished your goal. I agree, this election does not seem clear cut. I just keep wishing we could have someone like Moroni come and be our leader, that would be neat. Haha.  I'm sorry I wasn't there to celebrate  your American citizenship with you but believe me I'm celebrating in my heart with you! I miss you too Mumma but try not to be too sad that I'm not there. I get to talk to you all VERY soon and then I'll be home before you know it. And then we can just have Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice watching parties and have fun like the good old days.

  Today is Sister Tidwell's birthday and we decided to come to Braunschweig to go shopping in a giant schloss (castle)  that was turned into a four story mall. It's fun to be with her here and I'm hoping that we can have another transfer together. I'm sorry this email has to be short but I have to go since I've already been on too long. I love you Mumma. Have a fabulous week at school! I made you some Christmas ornaments for this year that I thought you would just love. I miss you! Be good!

-Ariel Nell

A-Merica ( like they say in West Side Story)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY on saturday BIG BROTHER!!! I hope you have a great week and a wonderful birthday!

Woa! Thats crazy that Jake finished the appalachian trail. Did he just have the time of his life?
Great idea to throw mumma a surprise party.
Yay! No overtime work!
How are the trees there in Atlanta?

XXXX is still in the Hospital and he is coming out on Tuesday. We don't have to re-interview him but our district leader does have to come to another appointment with us to just check on him and see how is doing and then he can get baptized ASAP.

That's neat that you got to participate in the blessing of Lukas. That's cool that Ben did the blessing in Portuguese.

Are Ellen's parents moving near family in Ohio?

Make sure you take a picture of your new iphone 5. That's really nice that Ellen got you such a big present!

Exhausted as a missionary doesn't really describe it. I found a giant grey hair this week and the bags under my eyes are as big as the grand canyon. We could probably play hide and go seek in them.

The 26th is my year mark! Happy Halloween party :) Why is BYU playing GT? Are they in the same conference? That just seems really weird.

You guys will have fun in Ohio for thanksgiving. Biltmore Christmas will be fun too.

Sister Tidwell and I are closer than two peas in a pod. We're like water molecules. Yea, Transfer call is next week.

Eli is a giant! What is he now? 5'6''?

     Well this week was full of finding and finding and more finding. We talked to a lady who said she was the devil ( we just kept going). We actually ran into a lot of people who have had contact with the church in one form of fashion but are too old and say they can't or people who just don't want to talk to us. There was one lady who thought we said we were giving people the quran, and when we corrected what she heard and explained it was the Book of MORMON then she said she was Atheist and didn't want to talk to us. People are strange sometimes.

    Sister Tidwell and I are in Braunschweig for her birthday today to celebrate. We have finger mustaches fake tattooed to our fingers and have been taking pictures everywhere. It's hilarious and definitely brings a lot of laughs. Especially since mine kind of looks like Hitlers.

   Well I love you Andre! I hope you and Ellen have a fabulous week and that you have a supercalifragilisticexpealidocious birthday! :)

Love you Andre! Miss you!

-Ariel Nell